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India-Russia to sign deal on S-400 air defence system at Goa summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin will seal a deal with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an upcoming visit to deliver Moscow’s most advanced air defence system, the Kremlin said Thursday.

8thBricsSummit Updated: Oct 13, 2016 21:16 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
Russian S-400 Triumph medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile systems drive during the Victory Day parade, at Red Square in Moscow.(Reuters File Photo)

The annual India-Russia summit on Saturday will see a pact on the delivery of advanced air defence system, framework agreement for two new nuclear reactors at Kudankulam and measures to step up investment flows with a greater accent on Make in India flagship.

President Vladimir Putin said Russia remained the top supplier of advanced weapons and defence technology to its “privileged strategic partner” India and added that Moscow and other BRICS nations were determined to back New Delhi’s fight against terror.

“Russia remains in the lead in terms of both direct supplies of most advanced weapons and military equipment and conducting joint researches with India as well as producing goods for military purposes. Our countries actively collaborate in the military technical field,” Putin said in an exclusive interview to IANS and Sputnik news agencies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin will meet in Goa for the 17th annual India-Russia summit in Goa on Saturday.

“An agreement on the delivery of S-400 ‘Triumph’ anti-missile defence systems and other deals will be signed as a result of the talks,” Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by the Russian agencies.

The S-400 is Russia’s most modern air defence system and has been deployed to Syria. It can track some 300 targets and shoot down around three dozen simultaneously over a range of several hundred kilometres.

The two sides are giving final touches to the final pact for the production of 200 Kamov 226T helicopters under the Make in India initiative. These helicopters are set to replace the aging Cheetah and Chetak choppers used by the Indian armed forces.

This pact is seen as a big step in cooperation between Russia and India in the area of helicopter production, and a preliminary contract for the same was signed earlier.

India is also expected to touch upon its displeasure over the first-ever military exercise between Russia and Pakistan.

Sources said a framework agreement for two more reactors — Units 5 and 6 — in Kudankulam and credit finalisation for the same are at an advanced stage. Russia’s Rosatom and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India have begun preparations for the construction of Units 3 and 4.

“More importantly, the focus in the sector now is the manufacturing of the reactor components and cooperation with regard to nuclear enrichment,” said an official.

Both sides are concerned about the economic ties not picking up — bilateral trade between the two nations dropped by 8% in 2015. The two countries are also trying to increase the investment flow. Russian investment to India is just $4 billion and the Indian investment in Russia is $8 billion.

Officials said measures such as reworking the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty (DATA), Bilateral Investment treaty, and the pact on promotion and protection of investment will help improve business ties.

“Russian projects in India not only have commercial importance but also play a significant social and economic role for the economies of the two countries. They harmoniously fit in the new Indian industrialisation programme proposed by Modi,” president Putin said ahead of his visit.

First Published: Oct 13, 2016 20:40 IST